Most recently published stories in Psyche.
Exhausted by Mental Math Before getting sober in 2016, I had been a daily drinker for a little over a decade. By the time I quit, my habit had absolutely exhausted me.
New year's resolutions aren't really for me. When people ask me what my goals are, I usually pick something trivial like winning a Fortnite game for once or saving a little more money. In fact, the only reason I even consider making a real goal in the new year is because I have a January birthday, and birthdays are a good time to look at your life in general.
If you have kept up with my blogs thus far then you will know i have a condition called endometriosis. What you may not know is i also have fibromyalgia. I have had it for years and its pretty bad. So both of these conditions put together is kind of a bitch. They both involve chronic pain and chronic fatigue and are both incurable and just managed. So its hard some days to try to be positive and try to be hopeful for the future. When your in so much pain all over your body and emotionally damaged as well "bad days" can be pretty dark. Right now with therapy and medications im in an okay place. I dont want to say a good place because im still struggling quite a bit with everything. Happily though i can also say that im better off today than say two years ago. I try to hold on to my wins even if there small ones. Its so easy to tell yourself how awful you are or how unworthy you are. Its so easy to talk badly about youself and to give up on trying. I know this because ive been giving up for a really long time. I dont want to give up anymore. So those tiny wins help me fight and move forward. Im apprehensive about looking toward the future but for once, im letting myself daydream. Im allowing myself to get my hopes up here and there. That’s huge for me because baseline me is a defeatist with an addictive personality and no self-control. After i turned 30 something just clicked in my head and made me want more. Made me want better. I want to own my own home even if its a shanty with no doors at least it would be mine and i earned it. I want a career and have pride in what i do for a living. Im SO sick of going from one dead end meaningless job to the next. I don’t want to just live to pay bills. I want to have hobbies and have cool experiences with my kids. I want my kids to be happy and know they can trust me and count on me. I don’t want to be sick mean sad mom anymore. I have a theory that every person has a flame or a drive in them to do something or be someone and along the path of life sometimes that flame just dies. My flame was stomped on and put-out years ago because of I’ve been numb for so long. Recently though i can feel the littlest bit of ember coming back and im really excited about it. I know everything in life is baby steps but you have to want to take those steps and until now I didn’t want too. With all things considered i could barely muster up enough motivation to go the bathroom much less give a shit about life. I guess all in all what im trying to say is living through abuse and dealing with everything that comes after is hard enough all by itself but to also live with these awful conditions, makes it close to impossible for me to want to care about myself and what my future could look like. I’m blessed enough to have someone who loves me and supports me and is a daily reminder that i matter but i know how many of us don’t have that support. It kills me to know how many people are living through this life alone trying to navigate through depression anxiety, fear and hatred. This is why i do what i do. This is why no matter how much i hurt no matter how much i want to stay in bed and quit, i still get up and check all my platforms because every day is a new day that maybe I can make one person less lonely. Maybe save someone from having to feel the way I do.
So today i wanna talk about something a little different than i usually do but its still something i struggle with almost every day of my life..today i want to talk about my relationship with god..if this isnt your jam go ahead and peace out now if your panties get twisted its your own fault i warned you...So im not sure if you know already but im a lesbian i always have been the abuse I endured didn’t turn me gay you wouldn’t believe how many times people have asked me that. I can remember being 4-6 years old and going to school on the school bus. There was this sixth grader named Paige every time i looked at her my little heart would go a mile a minute and all i could think about was talking to her or sitting next to her. Obviously at that age you dont know what that means but boy oh boy there was something about this girl. I was just enamored with her. I even remember having dreams at night about wanting to talk to her so bad. One day for whatever reason i actually got the chance to sit with her and she talked to me and i think I almost died lol again i didn’t know what that meant i just thought she was so pretty. Growing up as a lesbian was very difficult for me because it wasn’t allowed. I wasn’t supposed to be gay. My mom tried everything in her power to make sure i didnt turn out gay. Doing things like always forcing me to have barbie dolls and little girl stuff when all i wanted was hot wheels and tools to play with. My brother always got the best toys. I hated everything she made me wear all the girly shit she did to my hair. The harder i rebelled against the clothes and the toys and the hair the harder she would try. When i got old enough to dress myself and she knew she was starting to lose the battle she resorted to trying to make me ashamed of myself instead. Saying things like “you shouldnt act like that your gonna turn out to be just like your aunt” ...(btw my aunts gay for context) “you dont want that do you?” “you want to get picked on? And for people to think you’re a boy” she hated the way I dressed. I always tried to sneak boys’ clothes as often as i could because it was the only time i felt good in my own skin. Like the outside matched the inside. Don’t get me wrong women’s clothes are beautiful that’s just not the kind of girl i am. Now fast forward a little throw the abuse and puberty into the mix and things got even harder for me. I knew for a fact i was gay, but i also knew i could never tell anyone. I knew i wouldn’t be accepted and probably disowned. I remember trying to tell my father once because ya know he gave me the old you can tell me anything bullshit and i fell for it. I’ll never forget how he reacted. He just laid in silence almost thinking then so fast he grabbed the TV remote and bashed me in the head with it so many times the batteries fell out and the remote broke. He just looked at me and said “no daughter of mine is going to a fucking dyke”... needless to say after that he did his best try to make the gay go away. You can use your imagination as to how. I was 15 when i got my first girlfriend i met her in school and to be completely honest she was not pretty at all but i had such low selfesteem that i didn’t care. I’m not going to into much detail about the relationship but i thought i was in love but knew I had to hide it from everyone. A few years go by and after a couple of near misses my dad caught us together at a grad party. That night he brought me out to an abandoned spot in the middle of the woods. It was pitch black out and he absolutely unleashed and beat the ever-living hell out of me. He knocked me to the dirt and repeatedly kicked me in my ribs. Thankfully i had a thick jacket on and it cushioned it some but i "learned my lesson". Believe me when i say i tried not to be gay. I really did. I tried not to think about it and i tried not to look at girls. I told myself im not gay im just mistaken. I tried it all. Even my mom wanted so badly for me not to be gay that she brought me to dinner just us. I must have been about 16 or 17 as we were eating she straight up said to me that i should go out and have sex with a boy. Told me to go and do it because it would make her feel better. Now all my life i was always told homosexuality is a sin. That i was going to hell, that i would be rejected and thrown away. That was just at home school was no better. With the kids who would make jokes in front of your face or behind your back. All the names they would call you. I was truly hated in every aspect of my life. At one point in my life i was mentally split into three people living three different lives. The abused kid no one cared enough about to save, the gay teenager who was scared to death about being outed and the straight teen who was well behaved wished to please everyone. Living like that for so long really does something to a person. Even after the abuse was over and after i came out ..i still felt like i was a disappointment i was still terrified about what was going to happen to me after i died. Was i really such a horrible person that i had to go to hell and never get to see my loved ones ever again? Did i really deserve to be banished to the same place as people who kill and rape? ..i just didn’t understand why i was made this way if that was my destiny no matter what i did in this life..its like i was born to just be tortured like i had to pay for something i didnt know i did. The older i got the more information i tried to find. I went to school and studied religious studies. I talked to pastors, I’ve read so many articles and book passages and it all lead to the same thing. I had to make a decision completely on my own and had no answers whatsoever. It’s always been insane to me that the same people who tell you you’re going to hell for loving a woman are the same people that tell you god is so loving and forgiving. Which is it? Now I’ve come to a point in life where all i know for sure is that i love my wife and kids more than i ever thought i could love anyone. I’m safe, im loved, im taken care of. Im supported, im happy and healthy. But im still supposed to believe that somehow being married to my wife is biblically worse than being raped by my father. The reason i care so damn much is because even after everything ive been through i still see a beauty in this world and in some people that can only be explained by there a higher power. I believe that there is something, someone who gives us life and love but who also gives us death and pain. I know with every ounce of my being that there is a higher power that we can’t see or understand but the truth is i don’t know what it wants with me. Have i paid my penance? is it right or wrong to be happy? I truly don’t think ill ever know.
So if you have been keeping up with my blogs you already know i was hurt very badly by someone. I haven't yet said who it was so i guess i'll do that now. The person who hurt me and left me permanently scarred both physically and emotionally, was someone who i was supposed to be the safest with. I'm sure this is the same for a lot of you that the ones that were supposed to protect us were the ones that hurt us the most. Mine was my father. As you would assume this did a lot of damage to me. A girl's father is an integral part of her life. He's supposed to make her feel safe and make sure she knows her worth. He's supposed to look out for her and make sure that when she's old enough she knows how to protect herself from people who would want to hurt her,,hurt her the way he did..Unfortunately my dad was not my hero but the villain in my story. With that said to be honest he betrayed a trust I didn't have because my trust in men had already been exploited years earlier. Today isn't the story of my father and his awful choices alas we have another. My story really began at the age of four..So let's go back to roughly 1995 because I was so small the details on certain things are a little fuzzy but nonetheless. There was a family friend named Wayne who would watch me and my brother when my parents had to go places or work. I'm not sure which. I don't know how he came into our lives or who he was. I just know one day he was there. Obviously now i can see things that i couldn't then but at first things seemed okay. Then slowly he would start asking me to wear certain things and sit on his lap all the time or he would want to be alone with me in a bedroom. He didn't live inside the house my grandparents had a camper parked in the driveway that's where he stayed. One day he invited me out there and told me some story about how his wife and daughter hated him and so on which I know now was a red flag but then didn't make much sense to me. It then progressed to making me kiss him and all i remember is my face hurting because of his beard. I don't want to give details of the next couple events but after a while he was putting his hands where they didn't belong and showing me things a four year old should never see. Then it felt like as fast as he showed up he left one day he was just gone and i never saw him again. My mind was really messed up for a while after that, right and wrong got jumbled quite a bit. as you can imagine i was scared and wanted to forget so i never told anyone..well until i was 11 years old and was still having nightmares about it. My mom was in the bathtub and I was in the bathroom with her. She was showing me how to shave my legs and I just spit it out. Funny thing though she didnt say im sorry or ask me if i was okay all she said to me was dont tell your father. I guess i was silly for expecting a different reaction. Little did i know then that that would end up being a theme for her. So I walked out and did what I was told until years later when i did finally tell my father and the way that went wasn't expected either..but that's a story for another day. Even with all that do you wanna know the worst part? One day while I was in high school I was reading the paper and low and behold I saw his name and photo attached to an article saying he had done the same thing to someone else. To my cousin actually. The guilt I felt hit me so hard I just went to the side door of my house to go outside for a breath of air and I just wept. If only I had said something when it happened I could have spared her maybe others that we didn't know about. It still hurts to this day and I will regret it until the day I die.
So probably like many of you my pain was something i tried very hard not to deal with. The thing is I was not only abused but my body decided to rage against me as well. Team no mercy! I have fibromyalgia and there's nothing I can really contribute that to. It just kinda chose me, makes you feel special dont it? To add to it I also have endometriosis and that on the other hand (although unknown to me for some time) i can actually boil the cause for this down to my abuse. You see what had happened was my mother had women issues bad ones problems getting pregnant, still borns, miscarriages the whole shebang. So i was almost destined if you will, to have some issues of the kind BUT here's the kicker. When i turned 14 apparently something i did said looked like who knows attracted my abuser to me. That's when it began, now fast forward a few years. I finally got the courage to go and get my first pap smear because I didn't have anyone to tell me I ever needed one and i didnt have anyone who cared enough to go with me so I wasn't alone. Needless to say it was an awful experience The dr. was old and wasn't up to date with modern procedures or something. None the less terrible. This is when i realized something was really wrong i had always had terrible periods extremely painful but the level of pain to be examined was off the charts. So now to spare you with details i had already had my virginity taken and the abuse was already happening by now so i knew of pain already. Now i reached out to a gyno to see what was wrong why it hurt so badly. I went to this dr. expecting answers and as any woman with endo can't attest this dr gave me no such things he was very unhelpful shoved birth control down my throat even went as far as telling me the pain i experienced during an exam was all in my head. Eventually though i got him to give me an exploratory surgery to try to see what he could find. Unfortunately for me this surgery turned up almost nothing or so i thought at the time he came back and told me i didn't see any endo but it could be something called PID (pelvic inflammatory disease). Never offered me any advice or any type of resolution just kind of a kick out the door. So now i had no answers and a ton of pain and even a few complications after the surgery. NOW for those of you that haven't already googled this already the right thing to do for PID would have been to start me on antibiotics and such. That did not happen in fact nothing did not until YEARS later after i got away and was married when i had surgery number two. This time new dr. SAME OFFICE mind you, but new dr. still . He informed me that not only should i have been put on antibiotics but PID is also a STD and if left untreated may cause ding ding you guess it endometriosis and cherry on the top the other dr never even bothered to document it in my records. Second surgery low and behold the endo was found and i've been dealing with that ever since. Now for me I was obviously upset about the terrible medical care but that is not really what got me. What really threw me for the loop was knowing that my abuser gave me an STD which then turned into an awful disease that I would have for the rest of my life. So even though i have managed to escape i will always not only have the emotional issues from that but i will always have a permanent physical reminder that will mess with my quality of life until i die. Lifes a bitch.
2020, the terrible year that it was, came with an ending that I can only describe as a beginning- a new chapter. I've started an intensive therapy schedule, been diagnosed with bipolar (to my not-so-but-kind-of surprise), and started medication. To be honest, I always thought that no matter how messed up I was, I would never end up in therapy. It always seemed rather ridiculous to me to talk to someone about your problems. I felt like I lost, and I felt a little ridiculous myself for deciding to do it. However, it has been done and I've been going for about three or four months now, even though it feels like forever.
Does anyone reading this remember the Legend of Zelda games? If not, I apologize for this opening, but it'll make sense later. I'm going to single two of those games out because they were the first two Zelda games I played (having been born in 1993): The Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask on the Nintendo 64. The fairies that Link (our protagonist) gets at the beginning of the games are Navi (OOT) and Tatl (MM.) Those two little fairies, the blue and yellow wonder-balls, are basically what happens to my on a daily basis. Now, I know that might sound odd, but I'll explain. Basically, the fairies are there as guides--helping you find treasure, and signaling dangers, and explaining certain aspects of the game as you progress. One is decidedly more outspoken than the other when coming into contact with an enemy or treasure trove, or whatever it may be.
Over 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression globally, according to the World Health Organization. That's a lot of people each with varying types and stages but all equally important. Depression is categorized as a state that can cause long periods of sadness or loss of interest in many things. Depression can take ahold of peoples lives quickly by making it so they have difficulty focusing, doing physical exercise and some depression is severe enough that people choose suicide over continuing to battle their symptoms.
I think you'd all agree that the year 2020 was tough for us all, with the entire world forced into multiple bouts of isolation, life as we knew it completely changed. Some people also had to deal with the added challenges of losing their jobs, loved ones or relationships and struggled with depression.
This past summer I went through a challenging time. I have been dealing with mental health issues for years and thought it might be a good idea to go off all my meds at once.
Usually, the gloom of the winter months makes us dark. Being overcast can cause mental depression, so there are days when we don't want to leave the house. Some days you may even be spending most of the day sleeping. This mildly depressed mood is called winter depression.